Vintage mobile phones - price and rarity guide

Updated with the latest results from eBay - June 2014

How much is that old mobile phone sitting in your drawer worth? What should you pay for a classic phone on eBay?

Value Rarity Phone Reason why Links
£900 1 Mobira Senator 1981 model The first Nokia phone ever
£300-£800▼ 2 Motorola DynaTAC 8000X The first hand portable mobile phone
£40-£400 2 Nokia 8800 Depends on finish
£50-£100▼ 2 Motorola 8000S Cheaper version of the 8000X
£20-£100▼ 3 Nokia 9000 Communicator Original Nokia Communicator
£80-£150▲ 3 Motorola 3200/3300 The only GSM brick phone
£50-£150▲ 3 Motorola StarTAC 130 Premier StarTAC phone
£40-£100▲ 4 Nokia 8810 Rising star! - Ultra cool business phone
£20-£150▲ 4 Nokia 8850/8890 Rising star! - Ultra cool business phone
£40-£100▲ 2/3 Nokia 7280 Rising star! - The 'lipstick' phone
£40-£60 1 Motorola 9800x First flip phone with red LEDs
£50 1 Nokia 1011 Nokia's first GSM phone
£100▲ 2 Nokia Cityman 1320 Nokia's first hand portable
£30-£60 3 Motorola StarTAC Other StarTAC phones
£20-£60 4 Nokia 8110 The Matrix phone
£20-£60 4 Nokia 7110 The second Matrix phone
£20-£70▲ 4 Motorola 8500X UK market analogue brick phone
£15-£50▲ 5 Nokia 8210 Ultra cool phone from 1999, a modern classic
£5-£30▲ 5 Nokia 5110 Top fashion phone from the 90s
£5-£40▲ 5 Nokia 3210 The phone that started teenage mobile culture
£5-£30▲ 5 Nokia 3310 A collectors' must have. Everyone had one of these

How to use this guide

This guide is about how much you should pay for classic phones on eBay and other web sites. Study the rarity guide as well as the value guide. Phones that are more common are more likely to come up again.

The rarest phones are the ones most likely to increase in value.

Update - June 2014

This latest update shows some of the silly prices of the early days of mobile phone collecting continuing to decline. I've seen Motorola 8000Xs struggling to make £300 on eBay. The heady days of £1000+ are long gone.

There are small increases in the Nokia phones.  There is still a big discrepancy between buy-it-nows and auctions. If you want a bargain take your time and buy at auctions. 

Update - October 2012

I have updated this guide with the latest prices from eBay.  Most phones have declined in value over the past 12 months.  The Motorola 8000x has dropped from the lofty position of 1000 to less than 500.  In my view, this was expected as they are not that rare and eventually supply would outstrip demand. 

The recession clearly has a part to play here.  As always, the best advice is to buy cheap and sell dear.

Rarity guide

  • 1 = Very rare. Almost never seen on eBay
  • 2 = Rare. Will be 1 to 3 sold on eBay each month
  • 3 = Scarce. Expect to see a few on eBay each week.
  • 4 = Reasonably common. Always examples on eBay.
  • 5 = Common. Many examples on eBay all the time.

Notes

These values are a guide only. I have based them on the following assumptions:

  1. Phones are in good condition and free from major faults. Some signs or wear are expected. Mint condition examples are worth more.
  2. GSM phones are assumed to be working.
 
 

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